Garth Snow went up to the Podium today and announced with the 5th Overall Selection the Islanders selected Swiss Born Nino Niederreiter. He's the highest selected Swiss player in NHL history, and if he makes the Islanders next year will be playing with the biggest Swiss star in the NHL, Mark Streit. The former highest selected Swiss player was Michel Riesen taken 15th overall in 1997 by the Oilers.
Nino had 60 points (36 G, 24 A) for the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL during the regular season. He followed that up with 16 Points (8G, 8A) in 13 playoff games.At the 2010 IIHF World U20 Championships, he led the Swiss team to an upset of the Russians by scoring two goals in a 3–2 victory. He tied the game with his first goal in the final minute of regulation play to send the game to overtime, and then scored the overtime winner. He racked up 10 points (6 G, 4 A) and was selected to the tournament all-star team. After the Jump some scouting quotes.
Niederreiter boasts good size, and all ready knows how to use it to protect the puck etc.. His balance is impeccable leaving him dominant against the wall. Moreover, like many WHL players, Niederreiter plays with some serious grit and never stops competing or bringing the intensity. This is evidenced by his great play in big games. Finally, and this is what really sets Nino apart from many other prospects is how creative he is with the puck for a big guy. He has good hands, and is a proven goal scorer at every level. All his skills, coupled with his character makeup will make Nino an attractive winger for any NHL GM come draft day
"Plays in Portland but showed the world how good he could be in the (World Junior Championship) playing for the Swiss National Team. And after that tournament he kept getting better. He's shifty, he's skilled, he has a good stride and he loves battling in the corner."
From Director of NHL Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire
"Nino is a combination of a power forward and scorer. He’s a guy who can play a very physical, very involved game. He has touch around the net, he has great instincts on where to be around the net and when he gets the puck on his stick he usually creates scoring chances or a goal. He’s a player who, personality-wise, is a great teammate, a real key focal point for the group. And he’s becoming a better two-way player."
From his head coach in Portland Winterhawks Mike Johnston
Nino has the heart, the skill, the size to get the big goals for the Isles. He is a money guy.
From Lighthouse's own BCISLEMAN
And finally from his own mouth
"Now I'm part of the Islanders and it is great,"